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On 7/28/2022 at 11:11 PM, Destiny Skywalker said:

I might try some of that with her. Honestly I think half the problem is her running form sucks and if she fixed that her breathing would improve. I've been trying to get her endurance up using what I've learned about running for the last year. But intervals might get her there, too. Personally I like to build up the base and then start doing intervals to increase speed. Once my hip is better I'm probably going to do more intervals myself. And I just checked her feet and I think you're right, her arch is pretty flat. Shit. But she has an arch when she sits, so apparently that's flexible flat feet. Although your description cracked me up because I was also truly not fast enough to be an ACM, but had the vision and passing skills to do it. I'm fairly fast now for a 40 year old, but really good players have 3-4 speeds, and I have 2 gears lol. Those people that are already fast and then change speed again? I hate playing them lol.

Yeah the 3-3-2 is not working. They beat 2 crappy teams this weekend and won their bracket, which was honestly a shock, and then got destroyed by a legit team in the semis. But he's been getting help from a few B and A team players and he is overutilizing them. He clearly wants to win. He is in for a rude surprise when the season starts and he can't call those girls in. The girl he has put in that center mid position is actually a winger and hates it. She doesn't come back on defense, either. Just put the poor kid where she wants to play. She's not a bad player at all but she looks unhappy out there. Her mom and I talk so I probably have a little more insight lol. But I think you're right that Q and the hot shit girl could cause a lot of trouble for other teams with them playing a diamond midfield. And Q would get her ass back on defense, she HATES being scored on. When she played outside mid she always hung back a little too much because she wanted to get back on defense.

Practice tonight was a hot mess. The assistant coach was trying to get them to throw the ball to each other to practice volleys. I think maybe 2 of them could actually throw the ball effectively. I'm also honestly amazed at how badly these girls listen. Like they hear the instructions, do it badly and then decide they are just going to do whatever they want. Lots of herding required. I gotta get my kid moved up. Q couldn't get a good touch because her partner couldn't throw the ball to her.

I'm going to cut him a bit of slack, though. He does seem to be a little kinder to her since our talk. I think he realized I was pretty close to bailing and that she has options elsewhere. The next (and last) tournament is in 3 weeks so we will see how that goes.

Lack of knowledge about different formations...poor practice management...but yeah...that is the rub...they are all volunteers. 

I remember when I was a middle school dean and we literally had NO ONE to coach boys basketball.  So I stepped up--we had like 70 kids and without a cut policy.  We were able to have 4 teams--but it still was soo challenging.  I am a casual fan of basketball at best.  I was literally googling drills before practice.  I had so many kids I had to rotate...i even kept a spreadsheet of playing time, so one rotation got an extra minute I made it up the next week---and practically every game I got chewed out by a parent.  I was pretty bad but I was doing my best.

On the one hand, if I wasn't a principal I would be a soccer coach so I feel bad critiquing him and want to give the guy a break. 

On the other hand, you are in a position of influence and power over children so let go of your ego and step the fuck up. 

 

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Yeah I'm trying not to be a pain in the ass because he's a volunteer. He really wanted me to be team manager and I noped out of that. I'm really organized but I do way too much adult babysitting already. If I didn't have the Girl Scout troop I would help. Shit if I didn't have the Girl Scout troop I would've volunteered to coach myself. He played D2 college so he should know what he's doing but he's a few years older so maybe he's not up on some of the new formations. Honestly I'm not sure I could run a flatback 4 effectively, either. I played on a team that did it in 2000 and back then it was revolutionary. The U12 team that kicked their asses last weekend ran it (well, with 3 girls).

I might volunteer as coach for her school in middle school if they need one. That will be an even bigger shitshow than this team haha. I'm sure it will be no-cut, and I will have half premier/select players and half girls who don't know how to put on shinguards.

Some days I think about quitting my job and getting my coaching license and ref license again. But I would be the ref everyone hates because I would make them play clean and its a dirty sport out here.

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19 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

Yeah I'm trying not to be a pain in the ass because he's a volunteer. He really wanted me to be team manager and I noped out of that. I'm really organized but I do way too much adult babysitting already. If I didn't have the Girl Scout troop I would help. Shit if I didn't have the Girl Scout troop I would've volunteered to coach myself. He played D2 college so he should know what he's doing but he's a few years older so maybe he's not up on some of the new formations. Honestly I'm not sure I could run a flatback 4 effectively, either. I played on a team that did it in 2000 and back then it was revolutionary. The U12 team that kicked their asses last weekend ran it (well, with 3 girls).

I might volunteer as coach for her school in middle school if they need one. That will be an even bigger shitshow than this team haha. I'm sure it will be no-cut, and I will have half premier/select players and half girls who don't know how to put on shinguards.

Some days I think about quitting my job and getting my coaching license and ref license again. But I would be the ref everyone hates because I would make them play clean and its a dirty sport out here.

I tried reffing and I was TERRIBLE.  I would get too caught up in the game and forget to make calls.  One game I heard a parent say, "this is the longest half ever" and I realized the half was like 20 minutes over. 

We had a principal meeting today and the high school coach said he needed a boys soccer coach.  I was so tempted...if I didn't have a family I totally would have taken it. 

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Just had a meeting with the parents of transgender students that moved here from Texas because of the anti-trans law.

Also--we are interviewing someone with the last name of Sprinkles. 

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I've known some good names. One of my favorites is the email addresses we used to get at university. Sean Hitt became shitt@school.edu. Kevin Rappe became krappe@school.edu (he said he was not the complaints department).

Glad you guys are a safe haven for trans kids. What a nightmare.

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On 8/4/2022 at 2:54 PM, Hobbes said:

Just had a meeting with the parents of transgender students that moved here from Texas because of the anti-trans law.

Also--we are interviewing someone with the last name of Sprinkles. 

I know several families who are planning to move out of state if we don't vote Abbott out in November. 

 

So I guess Noah officially starts high school this year. I'd honestly rather "hold him back" a year so he graduates at 18 and not 17, but I think he'd be super upset if his friends graduate and he doesn't. Now I have to start keeping records and grades. Oh and I suppose he needs to select an elective or two. Man, I swear, every time I really get a good groove going with this homeschool thing, something forces us to shift. 

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Alright, so my daughter has this friend that she plays with a lot online. We made the mistake of downloading Roblox and it is pretty much the worst game ever. They yell a ton and are generally obnoxious. However, lately the girl has started talking about death and murder and it's getting uncomfortable. They are also in Girl Scouts together and I was told that there was a lot inappropriate talk at Girl Scout camp and I'm pretty sure I know who the culprit was. The same girl scared the hell out of half our troop at camp in June because she started talking about fallen angels or something from Doctor Who and got very graphic. It's clear mom and dad just let her watch whatever media, probably because they are watching it, too and don't want to turn it off. Today the girl started singing about murder and I told them that if that continued I was going to make them hang up. I talked to Q and said that it's inappropriate and it needs to stop, especially since Q has a tendency to repeat things. She said she has asked her to stop (not sure she really has). I do know that the girl is neurodiverse, for what that matters.

I feel like I need to start cracking down on this at Girl Scouts and in my own house. It's clear that it is making the other adults and girls uncomfortable. Honestly, it's almost easier to crack down on it at Girl Scouts because it clearly makes the girls uncomfortable. My daughter doesn't seem to really care, but I do. And I know Q will get in trouble at school if she starts talking about this, and girls start getting kind of dramatic at this age so I don't trust her filter as much.

Sigh, any advice on how to handle this, both as a youth leader and as a parent?

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I've got nothing but empathy here. 

Luke is a big fan of the macabre. He's only 6, but he's always kinda been this way. He's a little horror fan in the making. The kid's always found screen violence and death to be amusing. (Example - he laughed out loud in the theater when a certain character fell out of a window and was impaled on a fence during Multiverse of Madness, which we didn't realize would be quite as...Sam Raimi-ish as it was.)

Lately Luke and our nephew, Griffin (4), have become huge fans of Huggy Wuggy and the other creepy characters in Poppy Playtime. My nephew is also a fan of guns whereas Luke is more of a hand-to-hand combat/mele weapons fan. Griffin starts pre-k this year at a public school. I can't imagine that this is about to go well. 

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The issue is I don't want people pulling their kid or saying we aren't welcome at camp because they think she's disturbed. I don't think she is, but I also know she's depressed and struggles with emotions. She misses several meetings because her mom says she just can't get her emotions together some days. And I am not your typical Scout leader (usually stay at home moms, teacher types, etc). People get easily alarmed when people, but especially girls, talk about violence or gore. Admittedly, gore makes me queasy. I think I'm just going to have to warn mom that if she scares the girls again I will need her to pick her up early (and I will do my best to head it off before we get to that point).

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Honestly, the best thing you can do is talk to the mom. Just lay out the issue to her and ask her for advice on what you should do. There's a pretty big chance that Girl Scouts isn't the only place were they've run into this issue or something similar. Mom may have better advice on heading off her daughter before she gets going, or she may also be at the end of her rope and might be grateful just for a listening ear. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, if I can hijack this thread for a minute and ask...?

I remember when Seth's kid was little and he was thinking about what it takes to be a good dad, he had some concerns...I'd like to know how reality has been for all you parents.

Have you ended up raising your kids the way you thought you would before you had them? How do you think you're doing as parents now and how are your kids doing? Any big regrets? What were the big wins?

Tell me about your generations poor parents-what are they like? How have they ruined their kids?

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Hahaha, my kids have taken all of my expectations and thrown them out the window. With both my kids being neurodiverse, it's harder. There's a lot of therapy and extra work to do the same thing as neurotypical kids. My childhood was so much easier. I was athletic, I was smart... it just took some practice and then skills were learned easily. Not so much for my kids. Q is athletic and smart but disorganized. I think she might be dyslexic, but I almost feel like another diagnosis would break her heart. She wants so badly to be "normal". E is so smart but zero attention span and can't focus long enough to learn skills. Imagine always trying to take the short cut every day even though it's a disaster, because the right way is hard and you just want to get through whatever task and get it over with. That's how his brain works. And I can try to scaffold and correct but it's so hard to keep up with him because he is off to the races before I can react.

But I really am trying to do better than our parents did. My in-laws both lived their lives they wanted to live them, their son was an after-thought. My mom was sick and angry and my dad too busy taking care of her and owning a small business to spend much time with me. My parents wanted to do better, but my in-laws were too self-absorbed to do better.

I don't even know what shitty parents of my generation do. My standards are fairly low. Make your kids feel loved and safe, that's what matters. Be interested in them. Love them for who they are, not who you want them to be. For all the people who say kids are annoying, they're just people learning how to be. A lot of people probably think I am a shitty parent but I don't care. My kids have a lot of shit going on and sometimes don't act like the mindless zombies society wants kids to be, but they know their mom and dad love them so I don't particularly care.

The parents who do piss me off are the ones who think its ok to be cruel or mean just so their kids can be the best or the most popular. Sports kids, mean girls at school, etc.

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On 8/27/2022 at 1:21 PM, monkeygirl said:

So, if I can hijack this thread for a minute and ask...?

I remember when Seth's kid was little and he was thinking about what it takes to be a good dad, he had some concerns...I'd like to know how reality has been for all you parents.

Have you ended up raising your kids the way you thought you would before you had them? How do you think you're doing as parents now and how are your kids doing? Any big regrets? What were the big wins?

Tell me about your generations poor parents-what are they like? How have they ruined their kids?

I always kinda knew that I wanted to raise my kids almost the exact opposite of the way my parents raised me. My parents aren't bad people and they certainly could have been way worse, but they weren't what I would call "good" parents. It was no secret growing up that my siblings and I were all accidental pregnancies, and my parents just sorta committed to doing what they needed to to get us across the finish line. But we weren't exactly neurotypical either, especially me. I could write a whole essay about this tbh. But it basically boils down to the fact that I'm gifted but low achieving - this isn't a combination that people accept very well. Most people, especially parents and teachers, don't (didn't?) have an understanding of how or why someone would be super duper smart but not a perfect student. This in turn caused mental health issues that I'm only just now (literally this year) starting to get help for. So I always knew that my likelihood of having similarly neurodiverse kiddos was high, and I absolutely never wanted to make them feel the way I felt through much of my childhood. 

My husband was an extreme latch-key kid with his own absentee family issues - single mom working multiple jobs, no dad, parade of stepfathers and boyfriends, grandparents who were somehow miraculously both avoidant and overly controlling. 

And I absolutely refuse to hit my children. 

Neither of us had an good examples to follow necessarily, so when Noah was born I just read a lot of books and did a lot of research on how parenting was supposed to work. Somewhere in there I read a snippet that said simply that we should treat children like full people and not potential people, and this really impacted me. When I started staying at home with Noah (he was 6), I fell into a pretty solid gentle/respectful parenting method. 

Since neither Trevor nor I have many (any?) big life goals that we've always wanted to achieve, we've thrown everything we have into raising our kids. This has resulted in a lot of sacrifice (mainly a 2nd income) on our part, but prioritizing our kiddos is something we both knew we wanted to do differently from our parents. 

On the whole, I feel like an excellent mom. Part of the reason I feel that way is actually because I do occasionally worry that I've done something to screw them up in a major way. My biggest worry is that we haven't set a good example for things like career ambition or success. That's sorta the opportunity cost for the life we've built. (And I fully acknowledge that our way isn't the only or best way to be an excellent parent. I actually think Nicole and her husband are a great example of ah-mazing parents who are giving everything that we aren't in that regard.)

My kids are great. They have their flaws and challenges like any other humans, but they're also a good reflection of many of our values. My favorite thing about them that I attribute nearly 100% to deliberate parenting choices is that both of them have zero problem admitting when they've done something wrong, made a mistake, disobeyed, hurt someone, broken anything, etc., and they take responsibility for those actions. It's not unusual for Luke to run upstairs to tell me that he got mad and hit his cousin or that he broke something of mine that he wasn't supposed to be playing with. Noah used to be the same, but he's 14 now, so he's not quite as forthcoming if he can help it, but he doesn't lie to hide things and he freely admits when he's done something that he can't undo and knows we'll find out about. And frankly, Noah doesn't have a personality that leads to much mischief. Luke on the other hand...eesh. 

Aside from cases of obvious abuse and neglect, I think that the defining characteristic of simply "poor" parenting is treating your children as anything other than their own full person. 

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Sigh, I think E needs a mom like you who is just all in. I admit I struggle a bit with letting go of who I thought I would be (Super Mom, Super Important at Work, etc). I'm not sure if I am gifted or just high achieving, but that sets up a lot of disappointment in adulthood when everything isn't easy as shit like growing up was. I don't think E is going to be high achieving, not because he's not capable, but because he just doesn't seem to care. He wants to be comfortable, not the best. I'm just trying to find him things to do that aren't video games and that are just fun for him. He's actually not bad at soccer but doesn't have the attention to be on a traditional team. He loves to swim but we need to get him some real lessons otherwise he is a serious drowning risk.

I think Q is ok with me as a mom because I think she is wired similarly, but because she has anxiety I have to be really careful about the expectations we and she set. I kind of love skiing because it's an individual sport and it's just fun. There's learning new skills but it's all on your schedule. There's no belts or achievements, it's just fun. Girl Scouts is good for her, too, but it's the team environment, and many of our girls aren't as motivated as she is. I don't think she feels held back but she puts so much more in than the others and really excels in the individual aspects.

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Lol I think I (and Lyra) are similar to Ethan that way--capable but underachievers.

Eli's just started soccer and the first week of practice was rough. The only thing he really knew about soccer was that you can't use your hands, so when the coach told everyone to start dribbling, the only reference Eli had for that was basketball. He had no idea how to dribble or even properly kick a ball. I admit that's my fault for not preparing him a little, but honestly, we wanted him in soccer to give ourselves a break. That boy is massively high energy and very selfish (I mean come on, he's six), so we were hoping he'd learn a little discipline and teamwork. Coach so far, though, seems more interested in making the parents laugh and recruiting one of us as his successor next year than he is in actually coaching kids in soccer. Only one of the kids on the team seems to have any experience.

Second week went better, though. We had him watch a couple youtube videos to understand the basics and did some dribbling practice with him in between practices, and he had a lot more fun this go round. But it's still hard when the coach splits them into teams for a scrimmage, designates who are defenders and who are attackers, and just says GO. These kids don't know what that means! You're the coach! Tell them what they're supposed to do!

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I actually appreciated a lot of what you said. Those are bad parents, not some of this petty shit like I am about to bitch about.

I lost my shit at soccer practice tonight. I can't handle the girls and the adults. Honestly, it's a lack of character and it's becoming infectious. The girls constantly blame others for their own mistakes. They cheat at almost every simple task or drill. This is one area I am very proud of Q. She touches every line in shuttles, she is honest when she loses the ball in rondos (5 v 1 or 5 v 2 keep away). Some of the girls have started straight up gaslighting Q for every perceived mistake, even when it is not her mistake, or sometimes their "advice" is straight up wrong. Coach does not correct them when they cheat. Assistant coach occasionally sticks up for her UNLESS it's her daughter. Tonight coach wasn't even there, so the assistant coach ran practice. Q decided to tell her daughter that she did not appreciate being blamed for stuff constantly and the assistant coach interrupted her because she "thought Q was going to be mean". No, she's advocating for herself. Tonight Q did everything right and the girls just piled on and cheated and complained. They did this awful drill called Lightning where you shoot at the goal and you are immediately the goalie after your shot. It is a hot mess because they've never learned proper shooting form and they play it entirely too fast. This is a drill that older players with proper form should play, but the way they are playing it encourages terrible form, wild shots, and just playing as fast as possible. When you get scored on as goalkeeper you are also "out", which means most of the team is just picking their nose on the sideline doing nothing or shagging balls. Q was first out because she went right before their strongest kicker (strong but wild). So after awhile she started helping make passes. Cue complaints about how she didnt put it where they wanted. Coach's daughter straight up cheated and didn't go out when she got scored on. (And the passes were honestly just as good as the assistant coach, she is the most accurate passer on the team.) It ended when E (sitting next to me) got hit in the nuts by a wild ball from that same girl I mentioned, and I told Q it was time to go home because I was DONE with this drill.

There was another incident earlier where one of the girls got cleated on her upper leg. All of the other girls immediately dropped to one knee and then started harping on Q to take a knee and "give her space". Q saw the girl clutch her leg and actually ran the opposite way and fished out an ice pack and took it over to the coach. The entire time the girls are yelling at her. After she dropped it off, she then dropped to one knee. Honestly, I was super proud of her for that moment. That right there was Girl Scout training and showed her character. She kept a cool head and did something helpful. And I hate this term but the other girls just totally acted like sheep. She knew that there was a moment to be compliant but the other girls went straight to compliance and tried to shame her for not following the crowd.

Y'all, I have a long way on this tween girl journey. The other girls are going to kill me because I do not raise my daughter like other girls.

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So I feel this on a primal level almost. 

For most of the past 8ish years, we've been around (almost exclusively) families that share our core values. A good part of that is luck tbh, but we've been able to develop really good relationships with people who are trying to raise kids in much the same way that we are. 

I've almost gotten to the point now where I dread being around "other" people. (That sounds so bad omg.) Any time we're in public with a lot of kids, I'm appalled by the things that go unnoticed or, more often, unacknowledged by parents. 

Trevor and I joke a lot that we're raising our kids by "benign neglect" (basically, free range), but we still keep an acute eye on them when in groups. We intervene when necessary. With Noah it was mostly intervening on his behalf so he could learn to advocate for himself. With Luke we have to intervene because his neurodivergence requires more direction, modeling, and supervision. 

But holy crap! The number of parents out there seemingly unconcerned with how their children are interacting with others or their environments is unsettling. 

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We have our crew, fortunately. However, most of our friends' kids are not athletic, and that's a pretty defining quality for Q. She is basically mini jock girl. I took her shopping this weekend for clothes for the first time, and let her pick out her own stuff. It was all athleisure and girl power/science shirts. Cracked me up but it's also exactly what I've bought for her over the years. But she's a natural athlete and shines in environments with every day kids. Parents notice it, teachers and administrators notice it and comment to me about it. But it also means she doesn't have a good friend to play soccer or lacrosse with. She often makes friends on teams, but she doesn't show up with a built-in friend. I wonder if that would make all of this easier. I've noticed she does great at Girl Scouts when she has at least 1 friend there or with individual activities but had a hard time at the last workshop I took her to where she didn't know anybody. She had a hard time working with others and felt her ideas weren't listened to.

I am pretty free-range also. I let my kids mess up and have natural consequences, but I also keep an eye on them. And heard on modeling with Luke. That is exactly how it goes with E. We had a playdate with one of his classmates and he actually did great, but I know he tends to hound kids when he wants to play with them and can't take a hint when they don't want to play with him.

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Kinda pissed the school made headlines multiple times for poor performance (before I got there) but the fact we went from a turnaround school to the top 1% in the state for student growth in one year gets buried in article about our middle grades expansion…but I’ll take it…

https://www.durangoherald.com/articles/the-juniper-school-welcomes-its-first-sixth-grade-class/

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Sooooo as a teacher I just hope the parents are interested in things their kids are interested in a just spend time with them. I have a lot of students that actually think the world of their parents but hardly see them.

 

In other school and kid related news.... I got a notice from the district that five of my students in class last week had covid sooooo weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Hoping I'm not going to get it AGAIN.

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First day of school is tomorrow and I am a stressbox. Every school supply list has been wrong and needed some last minute additions, and I am the type of parent that feels obligated to get everything even if I think its stupid. I got a call from transportation today confirming pickup and drop-off times but then when I logged into the system it shows him being picked up at a neighbor's house (a grumpy neighbor, at that) and being dropped off at the transportation center 40 minutes later instead of school. I am going to have to call at 7 AM when the dispatch office opens and they will likely be super annoyed with me because it's the first day and will be a shitshow no matter what.

I am trying not to get worked up but I do not get a warm fuzzy from E's gen ed teacher (same initial impression as June). She seems alarmed by his energy and irritated that he doesn't make good eye contact (um hello he's in a social communication delay program). School psychologist swears she is just like his 2nd grade teacher. Not seeing it. If they pull the same nonsense as last year I'm going to ask them to pay for and transport to a private 1:1 school or send him to our neighborhood school with a paraeducator. Not doing the behavior program.

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